Bob McGowan's blog View Details
Posted by Bob McGowan | Jul 15, 2018 @ 06:01 PM | 4,420 Views
Finding the lift

Let’s first talk about how to find the lift. First and foremost you look for obvious signs (planes, birds, spider webs, dust devils) as these can all be signs of rising air. Keep your home field advantage knowledge in mind as you consider most likely places and plan a search pattern. I find this especially key in selecting what part of the field I want to be over for my last ditch effort as I am getting low. Plan ahead for that, your emergency exit. For me that place is usually slightly down wind of me so I can read wind shifts. If available, it will also be an area that takes advantage of the terrain or a tree line which may kick off thermals like a slope. If a thermal trip is not available, be over or down wind of a surface or area more likely to generate thermals. Before you launch always have a plan-A search area in mind and then a backup plan-B if that does not work. If neither work you need be at that last ditch effort place before you hit the ground.

Knowing where the sink is by watching the various signs is almost as valuable as knowing where it is because you will obviously be avoiding those areas as you search. Your timer should be telling you about any clues he detects as well as the obvious things such as where people are going up and where people are sinking. It may be wise to adjust your search plan in flight based on what he is telling you. Most importantly, never cover the same ground twice and keep your plane moving at a...Continue Reading
Posted by Bob McGowan | Apr 17, 2011 @ 07:52 PM | 10,647 Views
The Sprite 2-meter distributed by Kennedy Composites is a great model, but it did not nose over to spike the landings as quick as I wanted. I’m splitting hairs here a bit I know, but I wanted it optimized to the way I like to land. When I am going super slow with full flaps two foot high over the spot and push full down, I want it to pound that thing. One answer, the one I went after, is more down elevator travel.

Note that my style is to not touch the flaps when time to dork. I leave them in their last position whether that be ˝ flap, full flap, or whatever. Some people retract their flaps at the exact same time as they push full down. I dork with flaps down.

I had an accident with my Sprite that broke the glue bound between the fin and the boom. I decided this was the perfect time to get in there and investigate. Previously I had set up my radio to give me so much down that the elevator bell crank seemed to be jamming against the inside front of the fin, but I wanted more. With my modifications I got 7mm more maximum down as measured at the stab TE.

See the picture comments to learn what exactly the issues were and how I solved them. Note that I don’t cruise around with this much down travel available. On my SD10G I have a second higher rate that kicks in when I enter landing mode and a third even higher rate that kicks in when flaps are down 50% or more. With the down compensation that comes in with flaps, and the super high rate down elevator, I can...Continue Reading
Posted by Bob McGowan | Feb 07, 2011 @ 11:31 PM | 10,431 Views
My new Icon 2 has a very long center section, almost 72 inches. When I tried to put it in my Sportube, I found that I had to pin the tube on the second from last hole. With that very small overlap, the two halves were very floppy and actually could be forced apart with little effort. I made extensions for the inner tube section to add support and it worked out well. Check the pictures for details.
Posted by Bob McGowan | Aug 19, 2010 @ 11:34 PM | 12,042 Views
RCgroupers, I need your help pleeeeeease. Amazingly I’ve been selected as a finalist in a $5,000 ugly car contest (Yes, this is for real).

Voting deadline Sept 9, 2010. You must have facebook to vote (maybe your wife or kids do if you don't).

The credit union has selected the 5 finalists, but now facebook votes will decide the $5,000 winner. This is how you would vote for me:
1) You must first “like” the credit union before you can vote for me. Go here and click “like”.
2) Now find my car in the ugly car contest and vote for me by clicking ‘like”. Here is a direct link to my picture and story!...&ref=fbx_album
3) Now if you don’t want to follow the race, you can go back to the profile page and “un like” the Credit Union so you don’t get their news stream (“unlike” button inconspicuously placed in lower left.) Your vote on my car will stick even after you “un like” the Credit Union.

Check out these pics of my car, "Reliable Red". And Please help me win!

Posted by Bob McGowan | Feb 20, 2009 @ 11:23 PM | 12,982 Views
Major Tom radio pics
Posted by Bob McGowan | May 08, 2008 @ 04:39 PM | 14,078 Views
I've had the thought that this would be fun for a long time now. Today I wanted to fly spur of the moment at lunch and had not arranged to meet anyone at Baylands Park so I tried something new. I went to the Coyote Creek Trail head at McCarthy Ranch. I flew and walked aprox 1.6 miles round trip. It took about an hour I think, but I did not time it.

Because the trail runs along the creek, It runs atop an elevated levee. Flying from up there is an odd feeling. You know how when are at the edge of a balcony it feels very uncomfortable to look up (at least for those of us a little afraid of heights). That is the feeling you get spinning and launching from the top of the Levee. I did not launch my hardest due to this fear of falling, but the 20 foot height of the Levee made up for it.

I got away on my second toss to start the hike. Just dabbled at a couple hundred feet until I came up on a freshly plowed field and once over that up she went in the first real strong lift of the walk. Now working at about 400 to 500 feet it was easy to skip from thermal to thermal for a very long time and distance. But all things come to an end and I finally sunk out and I was not in a good place to land (or relaunch). I had trees on one side of the path and wires and barns on the other side. Had to come in low just over the barn roof and then push it under the wires.

I contemplated going further, but it was like I was in a box canyon at this point with obstacles on both sides...Continue Reading
Posted by Bob McGowan | Jan 21, 2008 @ 12:22 PM | 14,550 Views
We have a second molding project getting started for Pike Perfect. Just like the Supra Nose Cone, this is being done to help me get to the F3J World Champs in Turkey to support my Son AJ. This tape on skeg actually should be quite universal and we have already found it fits a number of different models well. It is not deliverable yet; we still need to do field testing to insure strength is sufficient. We plan to offer these for $80 each plus $5 shipping. We can make them in any color. If you want on a list, please let me know.
Posted by Bob McGowan | Dec 24, 2007 @ 02:10 PM | 14,808 Views
Working on new nose cone mold for Supra with molded in nose skeg. I plan to make these available for sale in limited quantity as I try to raise extra money so I can go with my Son AJ to the 2008 F3J World Champs in Turkey. Many thanks to Dom who is teaching me this process as we make the mold together.